LIVE CHEAP– NEVER DIE | THE PHOTOS BEHIND RICHARD ST. CLAIR’S BIKER ART– JOIN TSY IN NEW HOPE, PA SATURDAY JUNE 17TH 6-9PM

“Beach Run” photograph by Richard St. Clair– Meet the artist Richard St. Clair and see his collection of oil paintings in person at the New Hope, PA TSY shop Saturday June 17th 6-9PM. You’ll see 12 of his original oil paintings alongside his original photography.

Beach Run

“Beach Run” original 34″ x 34″ oil painting by the artist Richard St. Clair

When I first met Richard St. Clair at his home outside of Philadelphia I was immediately put at ease by his disarming demeanor and quick smile. Soon Dick was leading me to his studio where I was instantly absorbed in his paintings, the layers of mementos from years on the road, and all his incredible photos taken during his years of traveling the country. Seeing the photos behind the paintings in person made me appreciate the paintings more, as the authenticity and honesty in the photos are staring you in the eye.

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LIVE CHEAP– NEVER DIE | RICHARD ST. CLAIR’S BIKER “ART OF THE ROAD” JUNE 17th AT TSY!

Dick at Sturgis Pic

Richard St. Clair on his 1961 Harley-Davidson Panhead, AKA Queenie. “The bike came to me in 1975 at the time my wife was expecting our first child. So we sort of had twins — one for the barn, one for the crib.” (Come meet Dick and see his work at TSY June 17th, 6-9pm.)

“If you don’t know Richard St. Clair– you don’t know Dick!

The first time I tried-out this line on Dick St. Clair– he cackled with delight. Not one of those forced, polite laughs– this was like a kid facedown in birthday cake kinda laugh. You see, Dick to this day is simultaneously amused and annoyed that something as honest and simple as going by the name Dick (his given name, mind you) makes certain people uncomfortable. Some people will wince, others kindly ask if they can call him by another name. Yes. If “Dick” makes you uncomfortable, please call him– Biggus Dickus.

Now that we got that outta the way.. Seriously– You really don’t know dick about biker art if you’ve never experienced the works of Richard (Dick) St. Clair. Dick is the real deal– having spent a good many years logging countless miles on his Harley in the ’70s – ’90s riding cross-country to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Daytona Bike Week, Harley Rendezvous, and everywhere in between. He took photos that captured the life of free-wheelers, outlaws, and strays living life on their own terms. Many of these photographs gave birth to his epic paintings. There are many sides of Richard St. Clair to discover– he’s a storyteller, writer, photographer, and yes– one amazing fucking painter.

On June 17th, TSY presents “Live Cheap– Never Die” The Art of Richard St. Clair.

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Life Would be Better | A Simple Summer Home

Asummer home

The Talbot Rantoul summer house designed by architect Eliot Noyes. Neil Rantoul cleaning his rifle on a pull-down bed in the boys' quarters which doubles as a painting studio-- Martha's Vineyard, MA 1965.

 

I was talking with a friend today about how a guy needs space.  We need some time and a proper place to check out of this rat race and clear our heads– work with our hands, create something– just chill with the family. Then I see this image and it hit me like a stiff punch to the sternum– confirming that my life is incomplete without the perfect (but not overly done or fussy) summer home getaway.  I mean, come on– this place is perfect, right? Timeless clean lines, super functional, open and breezy, room to roam and be creative, comes with a gun– I’ll take it.  

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Shepard Fairey- Corporate Rebranding Tool.

I don’t have an issue with all the controversy surrounding Shepard Fairey these days– aside from his hypocrisy.  The guy is simply a commercial graphic artist out to make a name for himself.  In other words– a hired gun to assist corporations in promoting their brand’s goods and services.  What Shepard Fairey has done from day one is re-brand icons in his own image.  The fact that he is going after an Austin artist for appropriating one of his images for a parody does seem ironic and unfair though– seeing as how that’s how Fairey has lined his own pockets.  I guess he’s just protecting his own brand.  Let’s see if Fairey becomes the Nagel of our times.  Wait, that may not be a fair comparison– original Nagels are still appreciating and coveted for their artistic worth and cultural relevance.  Fairey may just end up as a parody of the Obama election and a bad fashion moment. 

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BUDDY HOLLY | ROCK & ROLL PIONEER

Buddy Holly and the Crickets

It was over fifty years ago– February 3, 1959, that the chartered plane carrying singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, fell out of the sky and rock ‘n’ roll was forever changed.  Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.”  His works and innovations were copied by his contemporaries and later musicians, notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and exerted a profound influence on popular music.  In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Holly #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

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EASYRIDERS DAVE MANN | BIKER ART

 

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My stepdad was a biker, and not exactly a warm and fuzzy guy. He rode a classic ’79 Harley Davidson Lowrider, and his little friend was always along for the ride– a .44 magnum strapped to his leg “for all the honest world to feel” (as Townes Van Zandt would say). Sounds cool, but like a lot of things– you tend to idealize it when you’re on the outside looking in. We didn’t exactly fit into the norm, nor did we to care to. Let’s just say it wasn’t a typical childhood, and we got a lot of stares. I was not invited to a lot of sleep-overs either.

Easyriders magazine was a part of growing up, and exposed me to a lot of… you know, art. Yeah, there’s other stuff in there too that a kid shouldn’t see, but I was fascinated with the illustrations by Dave Mann– and still am. They’re incredible.

Dave Mann’s dad was a lifelong illustrator and active member of the Society of Scribes in London. The younger Mann was born in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1957 he first drew pencil sketches of hot rods while feigning attention in high school. His crude sketches opened the door for Dave’s first job, pinstriping cars for Doug Thompson and Ray Hetrick’s custom car shop in Kansas City.  The wild allure of the West Coast drew Dave and buddy Al Burnett to Santa Monica, California. While cruising the seaside community he stumbled across Bay Area Muffler, an area custom car house, and there discovered completely insane chopped Harleys. The bikes drove him wild. They projected freedom, power and mobility with every chromed curve. He was immediately hooked.

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THE LEGEND OF SAILOR JERRY | TATTOO MASTER NORMAN COLLINS

 

sailor jerry tattoos

If you don’t know who Sailor Jerry is– you don’t know tattoos. Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins (1911-1973) is considered the foremost American tattoo artist of his time, and defined the craft in two eras– BSJ and ASJ (before and after Sailor Jerry). Arguably, he did more for the ancient art of tattoo than most any other single person.

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At age 19, Sailor Jerry enlisted in the US Navy. It was during his travels at sea that he was exposed to the art and imagery of Southeast Asia. Artistically, his influence stems from his union of the roguish attitude of the American sailor with the mysticism and technical prowess of the Far East. He maintained a close correspondence with Japanese tattoo masters during his career.

sailor jerry tattoos cards

Sailor Jerry regarded tattoos as the ultimate rebellion against “the Squares”. His legendary sense of humor is oft reflected in his work– but he was never one to compromise his professionalism or take his craft and responsibilities lightly.

sailor jerry tattoos eagle

Sailor Jerry’s first studio was in Honolulu’s Chinatown, then the only place on the island where tattoo studios were located. His work was so widely copied, he had to print “The Original Sailor Jerry” on his business cards. There’s a guy up in Canada that goes by the same name, but don’t be fooled– although he’s good in his own right, he ain’t the original Sailor Jerry.

sailor jerry tattoo

Sailor Jerry remained a sailor his entire life. Even during his career as a tattoo artist, he worked as licensed skipper of a large three-masted schooner, on which he conducted tours of the Hawaiian islands. Sailing and tattooing were his only two professional endeavors.

sailor jerry tattoos bottle

Sailor Jerry went out of his way to mentor those tattoo artists whose talents and attitude he respected, among them tattoo legends Don Ed Hardy and Mike Malone, to whom he entrusted his legacy of flash designs. He also railed against flashy tattoo artists such as Lyle Tuttle, and what he called “hippie tattoo” culture.

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From his 20s to his late 50s, he stopped tattooing entirely as a part of a disagreement with the IRS. Believe it or not, Sailor Jerry only tattooed for approximately 12 years.

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sailor jerry tattoos pinup babes

In 1999, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone partnered with an independent Philadelphia company to establish Sailor Jerry Ltd., which produces rum, clothing and other goods. Some say that Ed Hardy sold his old mentor, Sailor Jerry, up the river– taking much credit for Jerry’s style and pocketing the dough. Sailor Jerry (and Von Dutch alike)  may be rolling in his grave.

sailor jerry tattoos care

Originally there were few colors available to tattoo artists– Sailor Jerry expanded the array by developing his own safe pigments. He also created needle formations that embedded pigment with much less trauma to the skin, and was one of the first to utilize single-use needles and hospital-quality sterilization.

norman collins sailor jerry tattoos

Tattooing legend Norman Collins AKA Sailor Jerry

sailor jerry tattoos norman collins photo

Tattooing legend Norman Collins AKA Sailor Jerry

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ANCIENT ART OF THE JAPANESE TEBORI TATTOO MASTERS | INK IN HARMONY

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BTC BRISTOL TATTOO CLUB | THE SKUSE FAMILY — GENERATIONS OF KILLER INK

ROGUES, SAILORS & ANCIENT MARINERS | HISTORY OF NAUTICAL TATTOOS

Hugh Ferriss- The Father of Gotham City

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Some called Hugh Ferriss a draftsman, others called him a delineator.  More accurately– he was a trained architect, visionary designer and iconic artist.  Without ever formally designing a building himself, he is credited with influencing a generation of architects and creating the cityscape we call Gotham City.  His signature ‘moody’ style was honed during the 1920s– frequently presenting the building at night, lit up by spotlights, or in a fog, as if photographed with a soft focus. The shadows cast by and on the building became almost as important as the revealed surfaces. He had somehow managed to develop a style that would elicit emotional responses from the viewer. 

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